Krista has relinquished the task of writing this post to me -- Becca. Partly because she's busy reading False Memory right now and partly because she's planning to fix the formatting anyway when I finish. She's neurotic like that. I know everyone says, "I can't believe it's been a year!" But I think Krista and I both feel like it's been so much longer than that. We were "followers" before we started our own blog. Some of our favorites are no more -- like iswimforoceans. But we never expected anyone would read what we wrote. I predicted that maybe like five people would stop by, and we certainly never believed we would be reading ARCs. That really has been a perk to blogging because we started this, first and foremost, to be more connected to the YA community, which is pretty much the most fantastic thing since the invention of television.
Keep reading for the creation of the blog, bloggers we adore, our favorite reviews and tweets this year, and the biggest giveaway we've EVER done!
If you can believe it, the blog first appeared two years ago around this same time. Krista asked me to whip up a blog like our favorites, but she wanted to tackle both movie and book reviews since we're big cinephiles. Thus, Nawanda Files was born with Krista's idea to make the background a combo of robots and rockets. I picked out the name because as children Krista and I created silly nicknames. We wanted to be as cool as all the characters we saw on television and film. I was Nawanda -- graced with a boy's name from the Dead Poet's Society. And Krista was Eskimo -- not really a name, but we went with it -- from Heathers (it's a line from the movie when they're reading Moby Dick). Two weeks from the initiation, Krista slowly stopped posting.
And that's when I figured she'd never return to it. But something happened. Not sure what, but Krista jumped back into blogging exactly one year later. And she posted so regularly that people started actually reading what she wrote -- and commenting! Crazy, I know. I helped a little with maintenance on the blog since I was familiar with CSS and HTML. After a couple months, Krista -- the wizard that she is -- can practically create things out of HTML that I cannot. She's surpassed the teacher. So that's how Nawanda Files came to be.
We've also gone through quite a few blog designs. So you can see the evolution of Nawanda Files below:
The First Design:
A robot theme but ultimately very distracting with a bland black header.
The Second Design:
The header was very cute, but also very Krista. When we merged together we decided to get a blog deisgn that represented both of us.
Our Design Now!
It's bright. It's clean. It's beautiful. Thanks to Hafsah at Icey Designs the third one came out just right! (We're like the Three Bears over here)
We've met loads of awesome bloggers -- so many, that I know I'll hit myself over the head forgetting a name or two tomorrow. Basically anyone who participates in YA Book Exchange -- we love you, we really do. So all of these names *hugs tightly* you're awesome.
Specifically, there's some bloggers who've just made our time at Nawanda Files so worth while. And I know if we met off of cyberspace, we'd be good friends.
Lauren @ The Book Slayer: Our preferences for books are spot on -- and Lauren pretty much loves The CW as much as we do. I personally didn't think that was possibly. Especially since I work at The CW, and I'm a little bit freakish in my devotion compared to other employees. But I'm so glad that we've become bloggy friends so we can gush over The CW and our latest YA reads. Blogging definitely wouldn't be as much fun without her.
Lili @ Lili's Reflections: I met Lili when I needed Beta Readers for a book that I'm pursuing publication for (right now it's in revision while another book is on submission for agents -- a scary process for sure). And Lili was one of my favorites for her great critiques and comments. Since then, we've kept in touch and her blog has quickly become one of my favorites to stalk. She's incredibly generous and dedicated to the YA community -- as seen by ARCycling, which she runs. [Krista Adds: And anyone who loves YA Book Exchange can thank Lili! My first trade ever was with her and the inspiration for the entire site :) ]
Nikki @ Fiction Freak: Again, I met Nikki by Beta Reading. And we've kept in contact through chat for a while. She's such a fantastic young girl, and by staying friends with her, I've felt more connected to the YA community. She knows a lot of people, and I feel like she's sometimes my liason into what's happenin' in the blogosphere.
Sallie @ Reading is in my Blood: Like Lauren, I think our preferences for books are pretty dang close. And both Krista and I absolutely love discussing books and movie news with Sallie. She's become a loyal follower, and someone I look forward to taking with. She's purely awesome.
More: Allison @ Abibliophobic (love her kickass blog design), Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog (reviews I stalk), and Sara @ Forever 17 Books (her Friday memes are awesome, also a blog design to covet!)
All of you -- bloggers and followers -- are reasons why we started Nawanda Files in the first place. Sure, we like writing the posts, but we want to talk about them with other fans of the genre. And it's all of you that made this possible. Thank you all, so much.
We now choose each other's favorites from the blog!
(we've only done two, but more to come really soon!)
Krista: The Selection
Becca: Tiger Lily
Krista: Les Miserables
Favorite Recent Tweets
(we were quite delirious near final exams in December)
Will be hibernating for a full 48 hrs. If I'm not present by then, send a search and rescue #examshavebegun
— Becca Ritchie (@Becca_Ritchie) November 30, 2012
For the next eight hours, Paradise Lost sucks and has become a true (ironic) hell. #studying
— Becca Ritchie (@Becca_Ritchie) December 10, 2012
My apartment is officially christmasfied with lights! #tistheseason #makingupwords
— Krista R (@Nawanda_Files) December 3, 2012
College...why are you so difficult to me in my last year? In other news...last exam before finals in aprox 2 hours. #cramminglikeasuperstar
— Krista R (@Nawanda_Files) November 29, 2012
@slayingbooks Target!!! They're awesome and help me stay organized. twitter.com/Nawanda_Files/…
— Krista R (@Nawanda_Files) December 9, 2012
In comparison, here's my twin sis' mini shelf! Notice the obvious superhero theme (comics AND Smallville box set). twitter.com/Nawanda_Files/…
— Krista R (@Nawanda_Files) December 9, 2012
US Addresses Only
Giveaway ends February 26th!
Fill out the rafflecopter to enter. And much thanks to all of our followers and any traders at the YA Book Exchange. You guys rock!